Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition lapping Suzuka teases... something

Looks like Honda's out to set a new lap-time record with its lightweight Civic Type R.

Steven Ewing Former managing editor
Steven Ewing spent his childhood reading car magazines, making his career as an automotive journalist an absolute dream job. After getting his foot in the door at Automobile while he was still a teenager, Ewing found homes on the mastheads at Winding Road magazine, Autoblog and Motor1.com before joining the CNET team in 2018. He has also served on the World Car Awards jury. Ewing grew up ingrained in the car culture of Detroit -- the Motor City -- before eventually moving to Los Angeles. In his free time, Ewing loves to cook, binge trash TV and play the drums.
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released a brief video of the Civic Type R Limited Edition on Thursday, teasing something called the Type R Challenge. The company hasn't said exactly what this means, but I think Honda's out to set a record lap time.

When the lightweight Type R Limited Edition debuted in February, Honda unofficially told me the car would be used to try to reclaim its crown as the fastest front-wheel-drive car around the Nurburgring Nordschleife. The Type R earned top honors with a 7-minute, 43.8-second lap time in 2017, but was later bested by the Renault Megane RS Trophy-R.

Honda's teaser video shows a Civic Type R Limited Edition lapping a track, and ends with someone clicking a stopwatch button. That sure screams "time attack" to me, but there's just one issue: The track in this video isn't Germany's Nurburgring, it's Suzuka in Japan.

The Nurburgring is still open for socially distanced vehicle development work, but other race events and public days have been postponed for the foreseeable future, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Suzuka, meanwhile, is operated by Mobilityland, which is a subsidiary of Honda Motor. So if Honda wants a private track day, Suzuka seems like the place.

So, is Honda trying to set a lap record in Japan in the hopes of reclaiming its title abroad? This is all just speculation for now. Either way, I'm stoked to see the Type R Limited Edition on the track. No doubt, it'll be one fast lap.

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